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Robert Lepper  lying down and wounded. After capture, he was taken to hospital in Schleswig. Other person is Capt Richard Carey- Detailed Information William Desanders - Detailed Information Photos courtesy of Mary Berkery 

Photo of Robert Lepper courtesy of his daughter, Roberta Focht-Greco . One of the crew rescued with my father, William Styles. Courtesy of Linda Styles Berkery

SERIAL #: 37372452 STATUS: POW
MACR: 00117 CR: 00117

Comments1: 25 JUL 43 KIEL (FLAK - CS)




Crew #17 Aircraft #42 5867 "Alice From Dallas"            M.A.C.R. #117  Crew was flying  A/C #42-5862  "DURATION + 6" on July 25, 1943

1st Lt William D. Desanders        P    COMPLETED TOUR 13 FEB 1944 
2nd Lt William J. Styles            CP POW   25 July 1943  Warnemunde. Kiel
2nd Lt Calvin H. Defevre          NAV KIA   25 July 1943  Warnemunde, Kiel
2nd Lt William E. Griffith         BOM KIA   25 July 1943  Warnemunde, Kiel
T/Sgt Lester I. Berg                  TTE KIA   25 July 1943  Warnemunde, Kiel
S/Sgt   Charles J. Mayville        WG KIA   25 July 1943   WarnemNnde, Kiel
T/Sgt   George L. Rudden        ROG    COMPLETED TOUR      (With Crew #10)
S/Sgt   Norman C. Eddy          BTG KIA    25 July 1943   Warnemunde, Kiel
S/Sgt   Maynard T. Parsons      WG  POW   25 July 1943   Warnemunde, Kiel
S/Sgt    Robert D. Lepper          TG  POW   25 July 1943   Warnemunde, Kiel

Mission Log of William D. DeSanders with comments by DeSanders shown in brackets.
1.  6/25/1943  Bremen, Ger. (Lost 3)
2.  6/28/1943  St. Nazaire, Fr. (Flak rough - all OK - Good bombing)
3.  6/29/1943  Le Mans, Fr.
4.  7/10/1943  Le Bourget @ Paris. Fr, (Lost Duncan) This is Charles L. Duncans crew?pw
5.  7/24/1943  Trondheim, Nor. (Beautiful bombing)
6.    7/25/1943  Kiel, 25862 "Duration + 6"

"On July 25, 1943, Bill Desanders had an ear infection and Captain Richard Carey, Operations Officer of the 350th, flew in his stead and became a POW.  Another replacement on the crew this day was T/Sgt. Steven S. Kopczewski, the regular radio operator on Crew #11.  He was killed in action. The Aircraft "Duration + 6" was so damaged by flak that Capt Carey decided to ditch in the North Sea. 6 were KIA and 4 POW." "Capt. Carey, Lt Styles (CP), Sgt Robert Lepper (WG) and S/Sgt Maynard Parsons (TG) were picked up by a Danish fishing boat and the latter two were taken to a hospital in Schleswig."   Unable to bomb Warnemunde, the primary target, the Group flew to Keil where intense flak was met.  Plane was so damaged by flak that Captain Carey decided to ditch in the sea.  All the crew except for pilot and co
pilot were in radio room when ship hit the water.

Apparently, Parsons and Lepper, both of whom were wounded, got out ofthe overhead hatch but the others in the radio room were trapped and went down with the ship which rapidly sank.  A subsequent report by William Styles said that, "Griffith was struggling to get out of hatch as the plane was sinking, that is the last I saw of him."During a search for survivors, Danish fishermen found the body of Sgt. Kopczewski but, after making certain of death, left it in the water. Carey, Styles, Lepper and Parsons were picked up by a Danish fishing boat and the latter two were taken to a hospital in Schleswig It was mission #8 for this crew who were flying in "Duration + 6" and not their regular plane, "Alice From Dallas".

Bill Griffith and Big Joe were shooting Pheasants and killed a few.  The local constable caught them and said they had killed the landowners foul and needed to go and appologize to them personally in Class A's.  So they dress up in Class A's and go knock on Sir Rupert Manns manor and they were invited in. Instead of getting the 3rd Degree, they were invited in for Tea and cookies and talked for over and hour.

Subj: name missing  
Date: 1/18/2005 5:26:25 PM Pacific Standard Time 
Sent from the Internet (Details) 
My husband William J Styles was a member of the 350 BS yet his name is not listed any where as a member…He was co-pilot with Bill DeSanders on "Alice from Dallas" but was switched to fly with Dick Carey on a mission and was shot down July 1943. and became POW until his release in 1945..I don't see his name on that list either….Do you need more info to list him?
Jane Styles

conversation with Capt Frank Murphy, Nav on Cruikshank crew and roommate of Capt Dick Carey  1/19/05
 MPFaley [12:36 PM]:  Frank did you know a Lt Styles at Stalag Luft 3 
 MPFaley [12:36 PM]:  he was on Dick Careys plane when it went down 
 FrDMurphy [12:36 PM]:  Mike,  no, what compound was he in? 
 MPFaley [12:37 PM]:  not sure Frank, but Styles wife is trying to get all this info on POW and people who knew her husband for a project her Granddaughter is doing 
 MPFaley [12:38 PM]:  we told her to get your book  
 FrDMurphy [12:39 PM]:  Good.  I have considerable info on the South Compound where Dick and I were interned and will see what I can find out, if anything about Styles. 
 FrDMurphy [12:39 PM]:  If she will give me her contact address and/or e-mail I will try to help. 
 MPFaley [12:41 PM]:  will do, hold on 
 MPFaley [12:42 PM]:  he was Dicks copilot on the mission 
 MPFaley [12:43 PM]: Her name is Jane.  
 FrDMurphy [12:45 PM]:  Okay, Fine.  Have noted it on  my writing pad. I wonder if he was in our compound as I believe I would have known about him if he was.  Dick had a couple of guys who regularly came over and chatted and played cribbage with him 
 FrDMurphy [12:51 PM]:  I will look into it, Mike 
 MPFaley [12:51 PM]:  Thanks Frank, I am sure the family would appreciate it.  
 FrDMurphy [12:52 PM]:  Hang on a second, Mike.  I think I have something. 
 FrDMurphy [12:56 PM]:  Okay, Mike.  Lt. W.J. Styles was in the South Compound.  He got out of the airplane and drifted 15 minutes in his Mae West before being picked up by a Danish fishing boat and was taken by the Germans when they returned to port.  He was from Troy, NY.Okay. 
 MPFaley [12:56 PM]:  so he was in your compound 
 MPFaley [12:58 PM]:  is the book Stalag Luft III any good for them as research? 
 FrDMurphy [1:00 PM]:  Yes, although I did not remember him specifically.  There is no book that will give them any info that I dod not have. Styles was with Dick. They were actually not shot down.  Engine failures caused them to drop out of formation and become stragglers.  The airplane mushed out and went into the drink.  He injured his back in the ditching but recovered. 
 MPFaley [1:01 PM]:  You ARE the person they need to talk too 
 FrDMurphy [1:02 PM]:  A friendly bomber circled Styles but they were about 150 miles from England with no chance of air/sea rescue.  That's about all I have. 
FrDMurphy [1:06 PM]:  My info is that Styles was born on August 24, 1920 and was a Roman Catholic.  Will they verify that?
FrDMurphy [1:14 PM]:  I remember Dick well because we were roommates.  Lt. Styles lived in a barracks two rows over from us.  If I can help it would be my pleasure.  Give Jane my e-mail address. 

From: [] 
Sent: Tuesday, November 29, 2005 2:14 PM
To: Wilburn, Wayne
Subject: Re: picture

I do have one of him in uniform and had already sent it to the WWII memorial but never thought of sending it to his Bomb Group...I will try to send it to far as his story is concerned, he enlisted right after Pearl Harbor....Recd his training in Alabama and Georgia (where I pinned on his wings)  He was the co-pilot of the "Alice from Dallas" was shot down over the No Sea in July 1943...returned home (Troy NY) got married and joined the family Business (Funeral Director) with his father.  He died March 22, 1975.Let me know if you receive all this (including pic)...and Thanks Jane


Original 100th, Crew #17

On Richard A. Carey MACR (#00117) and Casualty Report.

 B 17F 42-5862 - The North Sea                                                               

  On 25 July 1943 at 5pm B17 42-5862 ditched in the North Sea near the cutter E 475 "Bertha" about 75 miles south west of Esbjerg. (Source: FOD A1393) AOD has details. This is one of the stories about airmen Rescued by fishermen in the North Sea. From the book A. Hjorth Rasmussen: Det er nødvendigt at sejle Fiskeri- og Søfartsmuseet. Saltvandsakvariet, Esbjerg, 1980 
     (Sailing is necessary) Fisheries and Maritime Museum. Saltwater Aquarium, Esbjerg, 1980

E 475 »Bertha« rescued 4 American airmen, but had to go to Esbjerg with them. Two 4-engined planes passed above the cutter, one of them gliding towards the water with engine trouble. It ditched some hundred metres from the »Bertha«. The cutter sailed to their rescue, and the 4 airmen who drifted around in their life jackets were picked out of the water. An immediate search for the 6 other airmen of the crew was unsuccessful. 2 of the airmen were uninjured, 2 severely injured. One of them had broken his arms and his legs, and the fishermen had to dress his wounds with splints from a wooden fish crate. The illegal magazine the “Vestjyden” tells about the arrival at Esbjerg, “When the ship came to the quay the Danish ambulance had arrived already. Work started immediately, but when the severely injured man was being put on a stretcher the Germans turned up and forbade moving him. That was the limit for the spectators, and there were strong protests over an order that brutal. Now the Germans went totally berserk. A blow in a whistle and more Germans immediately turned up and rushed at the Danes. One was hit with a butt on his shoulder and several people were kicked and beaten. One man had a revolver pressed against his stomach. Now the spectators drew a little back awaiting further events. After about 2-two hours of waiting a German ambulance arrived and took the severely injured airman who was lying on some duvets on the deck of the cutter.

The injured airman had been on his way to the harbour for 14 hours and he had to wait another 2 hours. While the poor man was lying there racked with pain a German officer strutted about smiling cynically every time the injured airman moaned with pain.

The brutality shown here by the Germans to a severely injured and helpless adversary once more stresses their cowardice and sadistic leanings. It is a comfort that the day of reckoning will soon be here, and then the German beasts will have the bill presented with interest and compound interest. We are in complete agreement on that."

This B-17 was from 350 BS, 100 BG, 13 Wing, 3 BD, 8 AF of the USAAF. See also the 100th Bomb Group (Heavy) with Photo of the pilot and operational details. It took off from RAF Thorpe Abbott - USAAF Station 139. See also 100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum. 10 airmen.


TARGET: Warnemunde DATE: 1943-07-25  
AIRCRAFT: Duration + 6 (42-5862) CAUSE: FLAK -Crashed at Sea  




This was taken after their B-17 crash landed in the North Sea near Esbjerg, Denmark. The skipper later mailed the newspaper article and photos to my father(Lt Styles) in a handwritten letter in 1949.  The photo of man wrapped up is Robert Lepper - Capt  Richard Carey is leaning on railing.  Courtesy of Linda Styles Berkery

Letter from Maynard Parsons to Family from Thorpe Abbotts.  Mentions Bob Lepper as Tail Gunner.  Photo courtesy of Daughter Judy Moore. 

 Charles B. Cruikshank crew taken at Gowen Field, Idaho in Novermber 1942. Standing (Left to Right); Charles Mertz, August H. "Augie" Gaspar, Frank D. Murphy and Charles B. Cruikshank. Kneeling; Orlando E. Vincenti, Charles A. Clark, Robert L. Bixler, Robert D. Lepper, S/Sgt Pepper and James M. Johnson. Detailed Information Photo courtesy of Frank D. Murphy John Brady Crew in North Africa after the Regensburg Mission 17 Aug 1943 Detailed Information (100th Photo Archives) Four 100th B-17s over the Alps, top "Cowboy" Roane in "LADEN MAIDEN," 2nd from top (smaller image) Henry Henington in "HORNY," center Bob Wolff in "WOLF PACK, lower "Bucky" Egan and "Crankshaft" Cruikshank in "MUGWUMP" Detailed Information (100th Photo Archives) 

My father William Styles is on the right. Captain Richard Carey on the left. The skipper from the fishing boat, Bertha is in the background. This was taken after their B-17 crash landed in the North Sea near Esbjerg, Denmark. The skipper later mailed the newspaper article and photos to my father in a handwritten letter in 1949.  Courtesy of Linda Styles Berkery

My father William Styles is on the right. Captain Richard Carey on the left. The skipper from the fishing boat, Bertha is in the background. This was taken after their B-17 crash landed in the North Sea near Esbjerg, Denmark. The skipper later mailed the newspaper article and photos to my father in a handwritten letter in 1949.Vestjyden is the name of the newspaper means 'person from West Jutland" 
The legend under photo says: William Styles photographed on board "Bertha". To his of his comrades.
THe headline says: Vestjyden makes connection between Esbjerg and America..

Vestjyden has now managed to establish the connection between the American flier (pilot) William Styles and the crew on the Esbjerg-based cutter "Bertha" which saved Styles and his three comrades from drowning in July 1943. A person from the crew has made contact. We ? have earlier reported that Styles, through a lady in Esbjerg, has asked Vestjyden to provide the addresses of the fishermen, since he would very much like to contact them.

Full translation: Here is the translation from the newspaper article: great story

VESTJYDEN establishes connection between Esbjerg and America

Between Esbjerg-fishermen and an American pilot who crashed in the North Sea in 1943
VESTJYDEN has now succeeded in creating a connection between the American pilot William Styles and the crew on the Esbjerg-based cutter “Bertha” who in July 1943 saved Styles and his three comrades from drowning. One more member of the fishing crew has contacted us. As reported earlier, Styles has – through a lady from Esbjerg - asked VESTJYDEN to help supply the addresses of the fishermen, since he very much would like to contact them.
The said fisherman explains that the cutter “Bertha” was fishing on Sunday afternoon on the 25th of July, when the crew observed a large formation of American airplanes. The last of the airplanes continued to lose altitude* and had to do a water landing some distance away from the cutter, which immediately set course for the airplane, and saved four men of the airplane crew.  The cutter remained at the crash site until midnight since it appeared possible that the Americans would send a floatplane to rescue the crashed crew. One of the crew of the airplane was seriously wounded, and since the cutter during the evening had been observed by a German fighter plane and also did not have enough fuel for t, the captain decided no to set course for England but instead went in direction Esbjerg.  A cutter from Frederikshavn, which was very fast, tugged the somewhat slower “Bertha” to shore, and at Skallingen, another cutter sailed to Esbjerg and arranged for medical help and ambulances. These were waiting at the dock when “Bertha” docked. Unfortunately, the Germans had gotten wind of the activity and demanded to have the four American fliers turned over to them once they arrived. Despite protests and demonstrations, the Germans took them in their custody. The fishermen are of course now… (the rest of the text is mostly missing but presumably reads “happy to hear from the American…”)
*there is a spelling mistake in the newspaper text: “høje” should be “højde”

A photo of the fishing boat "Bertha" - build in 1912 and sank after a leak in the North Sea on September 9, 1946. Boat that rescued William Styles, Richard Carey,Robert Lepper and Maynard Parsons. Photo from Finn Buch, Denmark.

Lt William DeSanders Crew (courtesy of Rudden Family)

Drawing of plane crash of Capt Richard Carey and  2nd Lt William Styles.  From Lt Styles POW book at Stalag Luft III.  Photo courtesy of Linda Styles Berkery

Newspaper articles about Maynard Parsons, WG on DeSanders & Carey Crews being a POW.  Photo from daughter Judy Moore



Crew 1

Crew 2

ID: 3085